This family-friendly novel is fifth in the historically based series, "The Life and Travels of Da Vinci" (though they can be enjoyed in any order).
The story begins in a small town in the Italian Peninsula in 1503. Leonardo has been working as a military advisor for the ruthless Cesare Borgia for almost a year, and that employment is about to come to an end. But first, Borgia wants Leonardo to accompany him to Rome to see his father, Pope Alexander.
Leonardo enjoys his first time in Rome in the company of his old friend, Donato Bramante, before returning to Florence, his home of many decades. Once back in Florence Leonardo is finally ready to return to painting - to take up a paintbrush once again. Over the next several years he will tackle two of his largest projects - the Battle of Anghiari and the portrait we have all come to know and love as the Mona Lisa.